Scammers are getting so good at their jobs that almost everyone will fall for one at some point. These fraudsters keep evolving their technology. Their goal is to try to stay ahead of cybersecurity programs and people on the lookout for scams.
One of their newer targets is the employment industry. If you’re on the hunt for a job, you need to know the signs of these types of scams.
The Better Business Bureau warns that more than 14 million people are victims of employment fraud each year. Since the pandemic, this number is rising due to so many job losses. Scammers are preying on those who are desperately seeking work.
You can avoid being one of the many caught up in these types of fraud by protecting yourself. Get to know the top job scam warning signs here, and then share them with other job seekers.
1. They Sought You Out
It’s always a little flattering when someone comes to you with a job offer. They claim that they’ve heard great things about you, or that you were selected, along with a group of others, and you made the first cut.
Once in a while, this could be legitimate. If a friend of a friend sends you a DM and says they heard you were looking for a job, you can check that out to make sure it’s true.
But if it’s a random strange company, keep your guard up and watch for other scam signs.
2. The Ball Rolls Extra Fast
Yes, we’re currently in the midst of a national employee shortage. But a legitimate company is still going to make sure they cross their T’s and dot their I’s before they hire someone.
If you’re “hired” with a vague online or over-the-phone interview, and then they request your sensitive data to set up your payroll, it’s up to you to slow it down.
Let them know you need to think about the offer first, then start researching the company more. If they try to intimidate you in any way, cancel the contract and move on.
3. The Job Requirements Are General
Every job listing has to have some sort of summary to interest searchers. Scammers usually try to keep their descriptions general to attract a wide net of victims.
Be leery of ads that don’t have much detail about the position. If it says something like, “Must be a U.S. citizen and at least 18 years old to apply,” but not much else, keep scrolling or delete the email.
If you do make it to the interview stage and the interviewer doesn’t give a description of your duties, that’s a red flag, too.
Obviously, you want to know what you’d be expected to do in the position. If they promise to train you later, thank them and hang up.
4. The Benefits Are Over-the-Top
Scammers know how to entice people into jumping first and asking questions later. They’ll offer big pay for easy jobs, work-from-home data entry positions that everyone wants, and flexible hours.
Professional career ads will advertise pay well beyond the average for the area or benefits like part-time work and a full-time salary.
With so many legitimate remote work opportunities today, it can be hard to tell what’s a scam and what’s a job you shouldn’t pass up.
Make it a consistent rule to never sign any contracts or give out financial data without talking to your contract attorney first. If it is legit, these experts can advise you on how to negotiate the terms for a better deal. And if it’s a scam, you’ll be glad you took the time to find out early.
5. They Use Unprofessional Methods
The world of interviewing today is much different than it was just a year ago. Now, it’s completely common to have a virtual meeting instead of an in-person one.
But a legit company will use software like Zoom, not an instant message platform. When the interviewer suggests meeting on Hangouts, Messenger, or other informal services, decline and move on.
There are other signs of unprofessionalism, too. Scammers often have spelling, grammar, and other errors in written communication. They’ll ask for confidential information over the phone or online.
In a legitimate company, there will be paperwork for you to fill out to provide this info. And it won’t be requested until you’ve gone through the hiring process.
Scammers may be getting good at their jobs, but they’re still far from perfect. A savvy job seeker on the alert for these warning signs will never fall prey to fraudsters!